Date: November 29, 1921
Headline: “Three Burn to Death in Monday Night’s Fire.”
Credit: The Chilliwack Progress
“Three Burn to Death in Monday Night’s Fire: Coroner’s Jury Find That Fire Was of Incendiary Origin – Tracks Found in Snow Cause of Suspicion.”
Three Chinamen were burned to death, and one seriously injured in the fire which on Monday night destroyed the Chinese store and laundry on Young street, immediately in the rear of the Elk Creek Water Works Office and storehouse.
The fire broke out about 2:30 p.m., the tremendous blaze and fierce red reflection seen through the snow storm being the first intimation of the catastrophe. An alarm was turned in and the firemen quickly responded but both structures and the several small annexes were from the first seen to be doomed.
Seven Chinamen had been sleeping on the premises that evening and three were accounted for. A fourth, Lee Now, was found severely burned about the arms, face and body as was rushed to the hospital in Bohart’s taxi. Three of the inmates remained to be accounted for and after the fire had burned down, their bodies were discovered piled near the doorway. One was Law Guy, janitor at the Royal Bank building, the other two were laborers, Wong and Chin Laws.
At 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Dr Elliot as coroner and Chief of Police J. Scott, empanelled a jury to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of these men. Mr. J. H. Campbell was appointed foreman, with L. Ballam, O. Nichol, F. McManns, G. H. Price and G. Lang was jurors. On the account of the difficulty of securing necessary evidence, the inquest was twice adjourned and in the meantime the police are busy investigating reports of the alleged incendiary origin on the fire.